[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #9b9b9b;”] A[/dropcap]fter our trip to Ireland I fell into some bad habits.
I’d managed to find a great balance between healthy eating and not missing out on any treats (hello Parisian baguettes!) on our trip. And had even come home the same weight I’d left.
But back ‘down under’ things stated to fall apart…
There could have been a few reasons.
But I’m blaming having a sick toddler in the house and a resulting forced extended stay in ‘Sleep Deprivation’ City.
Whatever the cause, I found myself with some serious carb cravings. Resulting in pasta, spuds and tortillas on an almost everyday basis.
Oh yeah, and our veggie intake? Way down.
No prizes for guessing the effect this had on my waistline.
So when I was in Melbourne a few weeks ago, I found a copy of Pete Evans’ book, ‘Going Paleo’ jumping off the shelf and talking me into buying it.
I first wrote about my experiments with eating Paleo back in 2010. And since then I’ve been following my ‘mostly paleo‘ version – basically skipping grains but including dairy and legumes.
I feel like ‘mostly’ paleo is really the optimum way to eat for me. And until a few weeks ago when we had the ‘carb fest’, I was feeling as good as I’ve ever felt.
If not better.
But I do like to experiment.
Just to know what different ways of eating are like for me.
So I’ve decided to go ‘full paleo’ for the month of September.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I know the importance of public accountability when it comes to changing behaviour. Like the long, long dry month I went without alcohol. There’s no way I would have stuck to it if I hadn’t told you about it first on Stonesoup.
Zucchini with Butter Beans + Goats Curd
This was the best thing my Irishman and I ate when we were in London. Hands down. And there was some pretty stiff competition. We had the zucchini as part of a lovely little lunch at St. John Bread & Wine. Next time you’re in London, make sure you eat there. Truly inspirational.
And yes, this ain’t paleo, but of course I’ve got you covered in the variations below if dairy and/or legumes aren’t your thing.
enough for: 2
takes: 25 minutes
4 medium zucchini (courgettes), thickly sliced crosswise
1 can butter beans (400g / 14oz), drained + rinsed well
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sherry or wine vinegar
8 tablespoons goats curd or other soft cheese
1. Heat about 8 tablespoons of olive oil on a medium heat in a large frying pan. Add zucchini and over medium heat, turning every 5 minutes or so until the zucchini is golden brown and very soft. (Take at least 15 minutes, ‘slow and steady’ is the key here to concentrating the zucchini flavour).
2. Drain and rinse butter beans well then add to the pan when the zucchini is soft. When the beans are hot, remove the pan from the heat.
3. Combine mustard and vinegar in a little bowl then toss over the hot beans and zucchini so they get mixed with the cooking oil to make an irresistible sauce.
4. Divide zucchini and beans between 2 plates and top with goats curd.
paleo (legume + dairy-free) – replace beans with a handful of roasted almonds and replace cheese with chunks of avocado or a drizzle of tahini sauce (equal parts tahini and lemon juice).
carnivore / more substantial – serve as a side to roast or pan fried chicken or fish.
more veg – toss in some baby spinach, salad leaves or parsley leaves before serving. Add other summer veg like red peppers (capsicum) or eggplant (aubergine).
vegan / dairy-free – replace cheese with chunks of avocado or a drizzle of tahini sauce (equal parts tahini and lemon juice).
butter bean alternatives – replace beans with other white beans, chickpeas, cooked quinoa or cooked pasta.
ps. One more thing
It’s my birthday in September so I’m going to take a ‘paleo leave pass’ on that day only so I can celebrate with some really smelly cheese. Because what’s a birthday without good cheese…
Thanks! I knew you’d understand.
That looks and sounds delicious! A tasty combination.
Did the survey. I selected Gluten Free. I try to stay gluten free because frankly, gluten does nasty things to me but in reality I find it hard to stick to because of the wheat based and wheat added things. It’s a constant work in progress
I’m with you on the work in progress :)
I am a carnivore. I love meat. I am also a super taster/super smeller so there are a lot of things I can’t eat or I will throw up. That being said, I’m also 87-88 lbs. depending on the day you ask me and I’m 4’6″ tall so except for the above, I don’t need to follow any special diet. I cook a lot and eat 3 meals a day and at night I eat popcorn because I love it and it keeps me regular. LOL
Yes being a super taster isn’t necessarily a blessing..
And thanks for the popcorn tip :)
I have looked at and tried a lot of different ways of eating over my lifetime, at least in part in an effort to control my weight. What I’ve finally landed on is omnivore. I love whole grains, and enjoy beans, and I am careful to soak them properly prior to cooking (neither my husband nor I can eat canned beans). I have found that I am happiest eating a healthy diet with plenty of variety. That keeps me from craving sweets. I pretty much stay away from anything that is just empty calories – except wine and craft beer. I also like my dark chocolate. I’ve considered doing a Whole 30, but would be miserable eating eggs for breakfast, since my favorite breakfasts (smoothies and overnight oats) are completely forbidden on that plan. I really don’t like it when my diet is severely restricted, because that makes it much harder to control my eating.
Yay for wine and dark chocolate Susan!
I am not sure if Susan will see this comment, but it makes me so happy to read when somebody voices that “all-inclusive” approach to eating can be not less healthy than the ones that exclude different food groups. It’s almost a faux pas these days to admit that you are not a Paleo or Whole30.
That said, I think the recipe sounds mouthwatering and I can’t wait to make it.
I prefer to eat low/slow carb, but I can’t eat nuts or coconut, which leaves a lot of paleo recipes useless to me! I really appreciate when you give nut-free alternatives with your recipes.
Thanks for the nut-free reminder Kathleen!
We eat low/slow carb because I have diabetes. We have a garden and 2 great farmers’ markets close to us so we eat lots of vegetables with a little meat mostly as flavoring. We live close to the Chesapeake Bay so we eat fish and shrimp on a regular basis. Nuts, eggs, fruit and good cheese (we also have a lot of farmers in our area who make cheese from their cow and sheep milk) are also regulars in our house. Not many sweets. I cook at home most of the time. We rarely eat out. A long-time follower of your blog, I use a lot of your recipes and ideas. Thanks.
Lovely to hear from you Georgia!
I’m so happy to read this, and even happier you asked for our feedback! I was a religious Stone Soup follower and subscribed to your meal plans. But, a little over a year ago I had to stop subscribing to your meal plans because I was breastfeeding my infant with food allergies. One of the greatest aspects of your simple, delicious recipes (other than being simple and delicious) is the substitutions section. Unfortunately, my diet was so restricted during that time that I couldn’t make it work.
After restricting my diet to figure out my baby’s food allergies, I found that (unfortunately) all grains congest me and drag me down.
I hope you comit to full paleo so I can stalk your blog religiously again! :)
Thanks for sharing Lynn!
Hope your babys food allergies are all sorted out
I have GERD. I’d love to eat more of a plant based diet, but it doesn’t keep me from being hungry. I do like a lot of protein, meat really. Carbs, beans, lentils etc. devastate my digestive system. If I have carbs I have to “sleep” sitting up.
What do people eat that keeps them satisfied without bread, rice, potato or beans?
I find eating more fat really helps keep me satisfied without resorting to bread and rice… Much more so actually
Its paleo for me
No dairy are the main things that keep me feeling great
Occasionally have sourdough bread rarely
I’ve been strict paleo since the beginning of this year in an attempt to fix my ibs. It has helped somewhat but not as much as I’d like as I still get some of the symptoms. However I’m sticking with it as it’s helped me replace grains with much more nutrient dense veggies. It’s also forced me to be MUCH more organised with my meal planning and prep…can’t just make a quick sandwich when I’m in a rush. Once I got into a routine though things were much easier. Looking forward to your blog posts about your journey/ recipes :) best wishes.
good for you Sue!
I agree with your version of Paleo which includes legumes and aspire to something along those lines. Love your recipes – I’m a grandmother and one daughter (I quit sugar convert) and 18 year old grandson (a meat and potatoes guy) have moved in with us. It’s a real juggling act feeding them all. Oh, and now my husband has decided he might be diabetic! xx
Lots to juggle for you Stella!
Good for you
I’m a 66 year old female. When I was a child we ate meat and 3 veg which always included potatoes. On Friday we ate fish and chips. We were never fat because females were always served a smaller plate than our fathers (the so called workers) we were also outside playing all day til it got dark. I now eat a lot of takeaway and am obese. I would hate to go back to the bland diet I grew up on but must admit.. it worked. Smaller portions and lots of activity!
Was it the smaller portions Cathleen or the meat and veg?
Just a thought..
I follow a plant based and seafood diet. I try not to eat too much processed food, nor much bread. I am not a fan of potatoes but eat all other vegetables, lots of legumes, nuts and seeds. I love your recipe variations ?
I have decided I would just eat veggies fruit and a small amount of meat I feel great but I am always on the lookout for ways to spice it up. So keep on with what you are doing.
I started this year on the “I quit sugar” bandwagon, but only to get a kick start. I don’t drink soft drinks, I make my own cereal or eat oats with frozen blueberries or fresh fruit for sweetness. I snack on nuts or things I make myself. I enjoy real food. I will have a celebratory piece of chocolate cake if it’s made with love. I skip the prefab store bought laminington roll with mock cream, because frankly it is not nice. I can’t say I strictly follow the World Heath Organisation guide lines, but I take them more seriously then fads like the paleo diet and I have been feeling really well. I really like Tim Crowe of Deacon University blog Thinking Nutrition. He subscribes to the “Eat food, mostly plants and not too much”
I think it was Michael Pollan who first coined ‘Eat Food, Mostly Plants, Not too Much’… but totally agree
I try to follow a moderation diet. Mostly vegis, beans, meat (to a lesser degree), and dairy (even less). I try not to eat much sugar but I love a piece of dark chocolate and a glass of wine.
This is an interesting article about foods for the brain. I would love to follow the ideas the researchers put forth, but alas, I don’t like oysters. You have to create a free login, but it’s worth it for all the solid info. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/847304_2
Keep up the great work! I appreciate all the great ideas. :)
Thanks for the link Elaine!
Always interested in brain health ;)
I am a foodie! Luv all foods…lean mostly toward meats fish and veggies…but like a good tofu meal on occasion. Indulgences are craft beer and home made wine. Appreciate the suggested variations in your recipes. Good luck with your paleo month and happy natal day!
I’m with you on loving food ;)
I’m vegetarian and try to avoid sugar and grains. My husband is a carb loving carnivore. The substitutions in your recipes have made cooking for two different tastes a bit easier, Thanks Jules.
That must be tough Jemma!